Should a tech entrepreneur minor in business and management? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
I will rephrase this slightly:
Should a tech entrepreneur learn business, and business management?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY!
Do you need to minor in business to do it?
With business and business management the vast majority of it can be learned by reading books.
We started our first business before I took a single business class and while I was studying mathematics. After about 5 years of running that business somewhat successfully I decided to educate myself on business, so I started reading every business book I could get my hands on.
The lessons there were absolutely spot on and would have tremendously helped our business had I known them before.
The good news was that my experience had given me lessons on what not to do and the business books highlighted what we should have done instead. By having the experience of messing up and seeing our competitors do better than us I was able to not question the lesson but instead immediately absorb it because I had already seen it in action.
Applying those lessons that I learned through reading books allowed us to create DigitalOcean which has gone on to raise over $100MM in VC capital from a16z, IA ventures, etc., and currently is over 350 employees.
Here’s my essential book list:
Product Market & Marketing Fit
Crossing The Chasm
Originals: How non-conformists move the world
Product Thinking by Exmaple
Blue Ocean Strategies
Start with Why
Zero to One
Behind the Cloud
Product Management & Design
Managing the Design Factory
The principles of product development flow (much more in depth queuing theory)
Inspired – How to create products customers love
The design of everyday things
The laws of simplicity
The Lean Startup
Managing Companies & Work
Good to Great
High Output Management
Strategy Rules – Five timeless lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs
Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works
Like a Virgin – Richard Branson
Scrum the art of doing twice the work in half the time
How to Influence People and Make Friends?
Leadership on the Line
The Sales Acceleration Formula
Mastering the Complex Sale